Can teeth actually be whitened?

Tooth whitening can be achieved in two ways. A product can whiten the tooth. That means that it actually changes the natural color of teeth, usually between five and seven, but even up to twelve shades brighter, which is how dentists assess tooth color. Not only is it bad for your health, but smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to staining your teeth.

Tobacco causes brown spots that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel. Tobacco stains can be difficult to remove by brushing alone. The longer you smoke, the more deep-rooted the spots become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease) and increases the risk of most types of cancer.

Whitening only works on natural enamel. If your front teeth have veneers, joints, or crowns on them, then the way to whiten them is to replace that dental work with a lighter shade. A popular way to whiten your teeth, whitening strips or trays can have a positive effect on your smile. As we mentioned, proteins that are housed in enamel and change the way enamel crystals reflect light are responsible for the yellowing of teeth.

Whitening of yellowed teeth can be achieved through the use of whitening trays or whitening toothpaste. Most brands of whitening toothpaste contain low-strength bleach. This approach may work, but it takes an extended period of time to show a change in tooth color. If you use strips, for example, it is extremely difficult to apply a strip evenly to each forward-facing surface of the teeth.

But if your teeth are yellow, stained, or discolored, you may feel self-conscious about showing your smile to the world. If you're careful with foods and drinks that discolor your teeth, whitening results can last up to a year. Your white teeth could draw people to your side, both in professional and social interactions. To learn more about teeth whitening, schedule a consultation with one of the Triangle Dentistry Team dentists.

Patients who have tooth-colored restorations (including crowns or implants) should note that only natural teeth will be affected by the whitening agent and treatment could result in differences between natural teeth and restorations, which will not change color. Discoloration of teeth (and teeth) are terms used to describe any change in the color or translucency of a tooth,1 as well as discoloration in several teeth or throughout the dentition. Following your dentist's recommendations regarding the use of whitening trays or retouching kit will help brighten your teeth and avoid damaging your enamel. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth, and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop discoloration.

The fact is that whitening aging yellow teeth can be beneficial to many people when done responsibly and correctly. The edges near the gums and near neighboring teeth are especially difficult to completely cover with treatment like this. There are several treatments that a dentist can recommend depending on your teeth and the desired appearance. This is a natural process and even those who are dedicated to thorough brushing will experience yellowing teeth with time and age.

Ernest Oesterling
Ernest Oesterling

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